Matthijs van der Meer PhD

Matthijs van der Meer


Publications:
2010
  Evidence for the use of an internal sense of direction in homing
van der Meer, M, Richmond, Z, Braga, RM, Wood, ER & Dudchenko, PA 2010, 'Evidence for the use of an internal sense of direction in homing' Behavioral Neuroscience, vol 124, no. 1, pp. 164-169. DOI: 10.1037/a0018446
Path integration, the ability to maintain a representation of location and direction on the basis of internal cues, is thought to be important for navigation and the learning of spatial relationships. Representations of location and direction in the brain, such as head direction cells, grid cells, and place cells in the limbic system, are thought to underlie navigation by path integration. While this idea is generally consistent with lesion studies, the relationship between such neural activity and behavior has not been studied on a task where animals demonstrably use a path integration strategy. Here we report the development of such a task in rats: by slowly rotating rats before their return to a trial-unique home base, we could show subjects relied on internal cues only to navigate. To illustrate how this task can be combined with recording, we show examples of simultaneously recorded head direction cells in which neural activity is closely related to rats' homing direction. These results support the notion that rats can navigate by path integration, that this ability depends on head direction cells, and suggest a convenient behavioral paradigm for investigating the neural basis of navigation.
General Information
Organisations: Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems.
Authors: van der Meer, Matthijs, Richmond, Zoe, Braga, Rodrigo M, Wood, Emma R & Dudchenko, Paul A.
Keywords: (path integration, NAVIGATION, head direction cell, rat, , , . )
Number of pages: 6
Pages: 164-169
Publication Date: Feb 2010
Publication Information
Category: Article
Journal: Behavioral Neuroscience
Volume: 124
Issue number: 1
ISSN: 0735-7044
Original Language: English
DOIs: 10.1037/a0018446
2008
  Adaptive integration in the visual cortex by depressing recurrent cortical circuits
van Rossum, MCW, van der Meer, M, Xiao, DK & Oram, MW 2008, 'Adaptive integration in the visual cortex by depressing recurrent cortical circuits' Neural Computation, vol 20, no. 7, pp. 1847-1872. DOI: 10.1162/neco.2008.06-07-546
Neurons in the visual cortex receive a large amount of input from recurrent connections, yet the functional role of these connections remains unclear. Here we explore networks with strong recurrence in a computational model and show that short-term depression of the synapses in the recurrent loops implements an adaptive filter. This allows the visual system to respond reliably to deteriorated stimuli yet quickly to high-quality stimuli. For low-contrast stimuli, the model predicts long response latencies, whereas latencies are short for high-contrast stimuli. This is consistent with physiological data showing that in higher visual areas, latencies can increase more than 100 ms at low contrast compared to high contrast. Moreover, when presented with briefly flashed stimuli, the model predicts stereotypical responses that outlast the stimulus, again consistent with physiological findings. The adaptive properties of the model suggest that the abundant recurrent connections found in visual cortex serve to adapt the network's time constant in accordance with the stimulus and normalizes neuronal signals such that processing is as fast as possible while maintaining reliability.
General Information
Organisations: Neuroinformatics DTC.
Authors: van Rossum, M. C. W., van der Meer, Matthijs, Xiao, D. K. & Oram, M. W..
Keywords: (Bacteria, CELLS, chemistry, Escherichia coli, human, Research, Research Support, Scotland, , , . )
Number of pages: 26
Pages: 1847-1872
Publication Date: Jul 2008
Publication Information
Category: Article
Journal: Neural Computation
Volume: 20
Issue number: 7
ISSN: 0899-7667
Original Language: English
DOIs: 10.1162/neco.2008.06-07-546
2007
  Exploring the role of context-dependent hippocampal activity in spatial alternation behavior
Ainge, JA, Van Der Meer, MA, Langston, RF & Wood, ER 2007, 'Exploring the role of context-dependent hippocampal activity in spatial alternation behavior' Hippocampus, vol 17, no. 10, pp. 988-1002. DOI: 10.1002/hipo.v17:10
In a continuous T-maze spatial alternation task, CA1 place cells fire differentially on the stem of the maze as rats are performing left- and right-turn trials (Wood et al. (2000) Neuron 27:623–633). This context-dependent hippocampal activity provides a potential mechanism by which animals could solve the alternation task, as it provides a cue that could prime the appropriate goal choice. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between context-dependent hippocampal activity and spatial alternation behavior. We report that rats with complete lesions of the hippocampus learn and perform the spatial alternation task as well as controls if there is no delay between trials, suggesting that the observed context-dependent hippocampal activity does not mediate alternation behavior in this task. However lesioned rats are significantly impaired when delays of 2 or 10 s are interposed. Recording experiments reveal that context-dependent hippocampal activity occurs in both the delay and no-delay versions of the task, but that in the delay version it occurs during the delay period, and not on the stem of the maze. These data are consistent with a role for context-dependent hippocampal activity in delayed spatial alternation, but suggest that, according to specific task demands and memory load, the activity may be generated by different mechanisms and/or in different brain structures. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
General Information
Organisations: Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems.
Authors: Ainge, James A., Van Der Meer, Matthijs A.a., Langston, Rosamund F. & Wood, Emma R..
Keywords: (hippocampus, place cell, spatial memory, CA1, T-maze. )
Pages: 988-1002
Publication Date: 1 Oct 2007
Publication Information
Category: Article
Journal: Hippocampus
Volume: 17
Issue number: 10
ISSN: 1050-9631
Original Language: English
DOIs: 10.1002/hipo.v17:10
  Anticipation in the Rodent Head Direction System Can Be Explained by an Interaction of Head Movements and Vestibular Firing Properties
van der Meer, M, Knierim, JJ, Yoganarasimha, D, Wood, ER & van Rossum, MCW 2007, 'Anticipation in the Rodent Head Direction System Can Be Explained by an Interaction of Head Movements and Vestibular Firing Properties' Journal of Neurophysiology, vol 98, no. 4, pp. 1883-1897. DOI: 10.1152/jn.00233.2007
The rodent head-direction (HD) system, which codes for the animal's head direction in the horizontal plane, is thought to be critically involved in spatial navigation. Electrophysiological recording studies have shown that HD cells can anticipate the animal's HD by up to 75-80 ms. The origin of this anticipation is poorly understood. In this modeling study, we provide a novel explanation for HD anticipation that relies on the firing properties of neurons afferent to the HD system. By incorporating spike rate adaptation and postinhibitory rebound as observed in medial vestibular nucleus neurons, our model produces realistic anticipation on a large corpus of rat movement data. In addition, HD anticipation varies between recording sessions of the same cell, between active and passive movement, and between different studies. Such differences do not appear to be correlated with behavioral variables and cannot be accounted for using earlier models. In the present model, anticipation depends on the power spectrum of the head movements. By direct comparison with recording data, we show that the model explains 60-80% of the observed anticipation variability. We conclude that HD afferent dynamics and the statistics of rat head movements are important in generating HD anticipation. This result contributes to understanding the functional circuitry of the HD system and has methodological implications for studies of HD anticipation.
General Information
Organisations: Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation .
Authors: van der Meer, Matthijs, Knierim, James J., Yoganarasimha, D., Wood, Emma R. & van Rossum, Mark C. W..
Number of pages: 15
Pages: 1883-1897
Publication Date: Oct 2007
Publication Information
Category: Article
Journal: Journal of Neurophysiology
Volume: 98
Issue number: 4
Original Language: English
DOIs: 10.1152/jn.00233.2007
2006
  Do HD cells underlie (angular) path integration in rats?
van der Meer, MAA, Wood, E & Dudchenko, PA 2006, 'Do HD cells underlie (angular) path integration in rats?' 5th Forum of European Neuroscience, Vienna, Austria, 8/07/06 - 12/07/06, .
The rodent head-direction (HD) system is commonly believed to play a role in spatial navigation, but the evidence for this is inconclusive: previous experiments have found both correlations and lack of correlations between HD cell firing directions and behaviour. However, since neither of these tasks required the rats to rely on idiothetic (self-motion) cues, we might not expect a consistent relationship between the HD signal and behaviour.
Here we aim to record HD cell activity on a task which requires rats to path integrate, i. e. use idiothetic information only. If the HD signal can be used in navigation, we would expect it to be coupled to spatial behaviour in such a case. A modified Barnes maze was used to exploit rats'natural tendency to carry large food pellets back to a “home” site. The pellets were placed inside a cylinder, which could be raised, lowered and rotated remotely. This allowed the rats to be confined to the centre of the apparatus while the maze and starting locations are cleaned before a return path is chosen.
By rotating the rats below their vestibular threshold, we could assess whether rats were using internal or external cues to guide their return journey. If they are relying on internal cues only, their choice of return should correspond to the subthreshold rotation. Behavioural data show that rats are able to return to their starting location correctly under control (no rotation) conditions, and return to the location corresponding to the angle of the subthreshold rotation when rotated, suggesting that they are path integrating.
Preliminary (anterior thalamic) HD cell recordings show that when the HD cell preferred direction is shifted by the rotation, there is usually a corresponding change in return choice. However, the rotation did not always succeed in changing a cell’s firing direction.
General Information
Organisations: Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems.
Authors: van der Meer, M. A. A., Wood, Emma & Dudchenko, Paul A.
Publication Date: 2006
Publication Information
Category: Poster
Original Language: English
  Anticipation in a population-coding system: a model of the inputs to rodent head direction cells
van der Meer, M & Van Rossum, MCW 2006, 'Anticipation in a population-coding system: a model of the inputs to rodent head direction cells' AREADNE 2006 Research in Encoding and Decoding of Neural Ensembles, Santorini, Greece, 22/06/06 - 25/06/06, .
The rodent head-direction (HD) system can be seen as one of several brain systems across different modalities and species that display anticipatory or predictive properties. Like the HD system, several of these systems process a continuous quantity like speed, direction or position using population codes: examples include motion perception extrapolation, motor control of hand movements, and hippocampal place cells. The HD system represents a one-dimensional variable (direction) so is relatively simple, and as such makes a good model for studying sensory integration and anticipation in a population-coding system.
Here, we simulate possible mechanisms underlying its anticipatory properties, using a large (~17 hours) corpus of rat tracking data for testing and validation. Previous explanations of HD anticipation have relied on putative offset connections between attractors, for which experimental evidence is so far lacking, and the developmental mechanisms needed to support such connectivity are unclear. We provide an alternative hypothesis based on the properties of the inputs to the HD system: we show that spike rate adaptation (SRA) and post-inhibitory rebound firing (PRF), as found in medial vestibular nucleus neurons in vitro, can generate realistic ATIs in a simulated HD attractor network. In the single attractor case, anticipation is always accompanied by an increase in tracking error, although it is small compared to simply increasing the gain of the input. However, when the HD signal is propagated trough several layers, optimal tracking in the final layer is achieved by generating anticipation in the first layer. We suggest experiments to test this idea.
In addition to the main result that input properties could be the source of HD anticipation, there are interesting observations to be made on the anticipatory time intervals (ATIs) of individual simulated cells. ATIs of different cells in the same brain area are known to be highly variable; we show that this appears to require little, if any, biological differences between cells, independent of the method used to generate them. A further source of ATI variability is the HD profile being tracked: different profiles lead to different ATIs for different anticipation models.
General Information
Organisations: Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation .
Authors: van der Meer, Matthijs & Van Rossum, Mark C. W..
Publication Date: 2006
Publication Information
Category: Poster
Original Language: English

Projects:
Head direction cell physiology and behaviour in rats (PhD)